You've got 10 minutes with Einstein. What do you talk about? Black holes? Time travel?
Why not gambling? The Art of War? Contemporary parenting?
Each week, host Jason Gots surprises some of the world's brightest minds with ideas they're not at all prepared to discuss. Join us and special guests Neil Gaiman, Alan Alda, Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Richard Dawkins, Maria Popova, Mary-Louise Parker, Neil deGrasse Tyson and many more...
Bill Bryson on the most extraordinary machine in the known universe
Journeys of discovery and wonder in the inner and outer world.
Do you have a body? I do, but I was mostly unaware of this fact until somewhere in my mid-30s, when my life strategy of living like a bourbon-loving brain-in-a-vat became increasingly untenable. Since then, I've come to understand something that might have been obvious to you all along. The body's not just a convenient support system for coming up with clever things to say—it's how we experience the world. It's most of what we mean by living.
And for all its marvelous autonomy, it's also wonderfully, bafflingly complex. My guest today is the author Bill Bryson. In his new book THE BODY: A GUIDE FOR OCCUPANTS, he has been kind enough to demystify it for us to the extent that that's possible, and to help us revel in its mystery everywhere else. Bill is the beloved author of A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING and A WALK IN THE WOODS, and I'm delighted to have him on the show.
Surprise conversation starters in this episode:
Excerpted from Think Again episode #215 with Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie.
When the protection of academic freedom is compromised, scholarship and greater society suffer the effects.
- Social media has made it easier than ever to succumb to mob mentality and let our worst instincts and impulses run rampant. Outrage mobs pose a new and unique threat to professors' academic freedom.
- Although expressing moral outrage can feel good, bad actors can use outrage mobs to further their own specific agendas, leaving careers ruined and productive discourse even further out of reach.
- University leaders should stop caving to outrage mobs and start standing up for academic freedom, both for students and professors.
So much of the world you know was made possible by Intel founder Robert Noyce, co-inventor of the integrated circuit.
- In this awe-inspiring short documentary, Michael Malone, author of The Intel Trinity, traces the history of Silicon Valley technology, starting with the integrated circuit, invented by Intel co-founder Robert Noyce.
- Ever wondered how Moore's Law came about, and who it's named after? Gordon Moore, Intel's other founder and the law's namesake, explains the remarkable growth and improvements to quality of life made possible by the integrated circuit.
- With quantum computing on the horizon, there's no telling how technology will change humanity in the next decades. That's a cause for excitement, and trepidation; new technology requires new cautions.
A talented young programmer, Christopher Wylie found himself at the center of a complex plot to overturn the cultural order in the United States and Europe—one that most likely tipped the scales on Brexit and the 2016 US presidential election.
Progress for women can only go so far while men still struggle with ideals of masculinity that teach violence and emotional disconnect. Liz Plank is trying to change the conversation.
In the past half century or so feminism has had its hands plenty full dealing with the abuse and inequality women suffer at the hands of horribly behaved men and the systems they build. Too full to worry much about what the hell is going on inside those men and why. And there are powerful arguments to be made for the fact that it is not women's responsibility to help men figure out how not to be monsters.
But I've noticed an interesting shift in the discourse lately. In the wake of the MeToo movement (things happen fast these days…that blew up at scale in 2017), some threads of the public conversation have turned toward what my guest today might talk about in terms of the gender ecosystem, the ways that ideas about gender shape our identities and behavior and the fact that those behaviors impact everyone in society for better and worse. Regardless of whose responsibility it is to solve these problems, the question of where masculinity goes from here should matter to everyone.
My guest today is journalist and cultural critic Liz Plank. she was named one of Forbes' 30 under 30, has produced and hosted multiple acclaimed digital series for Vox, and is the author of the new book FOR THE LOVE OF MEN: a new vision of mindful masculinity.
From atomic theory to evolution to utilitarian pragmatism, the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus was way ahead of his time. In the writings of his school, philosopher Catherine Wilson finds answers to many of our most vexing modern problems.
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